The Administration is seeking feedback on potential improvements to the Family First Prevention Services Clearinghouse handbook. The request for comments was posted on July 15, 2021, on the Federal Register. The deadline for comments is August 16, 2021.

The Handbook of Standards and Procedures outlines the process and procedure for review by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on how potential substance use, mental health, and in-home services will be reviewed, approved, or rejected as programs that can qualify for funding under the new Family First Prevention Services. The Administration cannot change how programs are rated as “well-supported,” “supported,” and “promising” since that is written into law, so the potential for changes is limited. There is, however, some discretion in the process.

The handbook outlines six areas: identifying programs and services for review; selecting and prioritize programs and services for review; literature search; study eligibility screening and prioritization; the evidence review; and program and service ratings.

The request is an attempt to provide transparency in the process and add from existing knowledge of states, federal agencies, researchers, evaluators, program and service developers,

key stakeholders and experts, and the public. Organizations and individuals are asked to identify the chapter, section, and page number of the Handbook of Standards and Procedures being commented on. HHS also highlights that this solicitation for information is for planning purposes only and should not be seen as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of HHS.

Interested parties may submit written questions, comments, and supplementary documents by email to with “Title IV-E PSC FRN comment” in the subject line. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect, please identify clearly the section of

the Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Version 1.0, that your comment addresses.

The deadline is Monday, August 16, 2021.